Sonoma Coast Bouldering - Benjamin Canevari

Jon and I had been talking about a big climbing trip for years I think. He moved back to Oklahoma and it seemed like it would never happen. Finally, I decided to just pick a time and place and cross my fingers he would be able to make it. And he did! Dude drove out from Tulsa with his girlfriend Lindsey and buddy Deon. I had to make sure this trip was one for the books!

I knew the Sunset Boulders best. I had been there before and had some particular photos in mind for this trip. I was hoping the coast would deliver it's typical blankets of thick, thick fog in the morning, just like the last time I was there. Well it didn't. But it did give us a great sunrise and the weather the rest of the morning couldn't have been any better.

We spent the entire morning there, just hanging out and climbing. Once the lighting was just no good anymore we decided to call it a day and go grab some food and some rest. I did get these guys up at 4am after all. Here are some of the shenanigans we got into.


Sunset Boulders

I wish that we would have had better weather during our time at Fort Ross. Definitely a place I would like to return to and photograph. Maybe at sunset?

The main boulder is right there on the water. You literally have to watch out for the waves coming up on the shore otherwise they might wipe out your camp. But it's an awesome spot with even more awesome routes.

There's also a traverse along the back wall if you're looking for something a little bit more mellow. And apparently there is another bouldering spot around the bend, but we didn't go around far enough due to tides. But it's okay.

We ended up not staying long while we were there. Fog rolled in and it was misting really badly during the day. When we returned the next morning at dawn, there was thunder, lightning, and the holds were damp. We made the most of it though and got some really cool stuff still. Unfortunately, no lightning showed up while we were actually climbing. Or is that fortunate? I don't know honestly, some photos with a climber and lighting bolts in the distance would have been pretty epic. Anyways, have a peek at what we got up to on the beach!




Fort Ross

Aptly named Triceratops and The Wave boulders, it's called The Secret Spot. I won't tell you how to find them, because that's part of the adventure.

No I won't tell you where these boulders are. We spent at least six hours looking for them ourselves. And that was part of all the fun. By far the most difficult approach we had all week. Between searching miles of coastline for these rocks and the actual trail leading down to them, it took a lot out of us.

We kept finding rocks that we would try to convince ourselves were what we were looking for, we wanted to find them so badly. But once we finally came across them, there was no mistaking them for what they were.

The first day we spent all afternoon and evening searching for them. When we finally found them, golden hour was already on, and sunset was fast approaching. Jon, Tim, and I sprinted the mile and a half uphill back to the car to grab all the gear. When we got everything out, I went to close the back hatch on my Jeep and WHAM! It slammed metal on metal and popped back open. The latch got stuck closed. We spent probably 45 minutes trying to get in unstuck, finally Tim got his arm inside the plastic lining of the hatch and manually popped it open from the inside.

We went back hoping to at least put my strobes to use and get some photos under artificial light. But upon returning, we found Deon and Lindsey making their way back to the car really shaken up. Apparently a ledge they had been standing on gave out from underneath them, causing them to fall about 12 feet straight down, almost landing in the ocean.

They had some nasty scrapes and were pretty shaken up. But for the most part they turned out okay! We decided to call it a night, go back to camp, start a fire, eat some food and have a beer. Dawn patrol in the morning to climb the best rocks of the trip. Check it out.







Secrets

It was a great trip and I got so many great photos out of it, not all of them involving rock climbing.

When we weren't out in search of bouldering spots (like Sunset, Secret Spot, and Fort Ross), we spent a lot of time around our campsite at Stillwater Cove. It's a short walk down to the beach, where we spent a few evenings hanging out and yes we did do a little climbing as well. There's also a really pretty loop that goes up and down this little creek. I really love how the coast just has a little bit of everything.


I'm so glad Deon was able to make it out. His enthusiasm and energy were awesome to have on the trip. As you can tell, he was up for anything. It was also really fun getting to watch his reaction and be a part of his first trip to the ocean, as well as his first time climbing outdoors.


We had two days of this mist and fog. It even escalated to thunder and lightning as well. Luckily it didn't settle too badly on the rock and we were able to still have some fun. Made for some interesting photos I think as well.


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